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Archive for ‘Public Speaking as a Leader’

Fire Hose Delivery

by Tom Nixon

The highly respected expert stepped to the stage and announced that he was going to “turn on the fire hose” and let the audience have everything he knows about the presentation’s topic. In a perfect world, all the brilliant insights that would tumble from his lips in this presentation would be eagerly assimilated by everyone in his audience. But in this world, that doesn’t happen. As a matter of fact, as presenters we are lucky if two or three of our important points register with just a few of …

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Handling Questions & Answers Like a Real Pro!

by Claudia W. Brogan

When coaching public speakers who want to polish their skills, one subject comes up without fail: What can I do to get ready to handle questions after my presentation?

Even the most seasoned, well-prepared speakers fear that audience members will try to trip us up. Or that an audience member will stand up to deliver his or her very own monologue at the end, explaining how our content or delivery — or both — were just less than satisfactory. Or a nagging thought comes to a speaker, that, “There …

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How to Make Complex Info Accessible for Your Audience

By Natalie Gallagher
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t know it well enough.” –Albert Einstein
One of the biggest challenges speakers face, especially speakers who are experts in their field, is how to make complex information accessible and relatable to the audience. Whenever I address this topic with my clients, the immediate push-back I get is, “I don’t want to dumb it down.” I expect this reaction, because most of us are not only attached to our work, we’re attached to being experts in our field.

However, making something simple or accessible isn’t …

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Who Are You Speaking To, Anyway?

By Claudia Brogan

Back when I was in high school speech class, little did I guess that my life’s journey would be focused upon ways to improve speaking skills and communication in the workplace. All I knew back then, as a junior in high school, was how fascinated I was to learn the principles of public speaking…and survive my next assigned speech for Mrs. Witmer’s class.

One day, she really got our attention with a provocative question, and her words that day have stayed with me all my life.

“There are three most important …

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A Rhyme is Sublime

By Bob Goodyear

Several years ago, I sat in a conference where Craig Valentine (www.craigvalentine.com) spoke. While I don’t remember everything he said, he used a phrase that has stuck with me. While talking about goals and achieving them, he said “If you can view it, you can do it.” His point was that you have to visualize the goal, see yourself actually doing what you want, and then you will accomplish it.

I’ve studied with Craig since then and today I realize that he used a couple of …

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A Lesson on Presentation from the Beatles

By Bob Goodyear

Last month my wife and I took a 24-hour trip to Las Vegas. We went just to see the Cirque du Soleil show called The Beatles LOVE. It’s a show that we both really enjoy. As a matter of fact, this was my fourth time in 10 years to see it.

While the acts in the show have changed over the years, the one constant theme is the Beatles’ music. This time while watching the show, I noticed something about the music that I had not paid …

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Shifting from Speaker-Judge to Speaker-Coach

by Claudia W. Brogan

One of the finest ways for us to keep polishing our speaking skills and learning new lessons is to pay very close attention to public speakers, wherever and whenever we happen upon them. Whether watching a keynote speech at a large conference or hearing a newly-published author at a forum, whether hearing a motivational speech or even a pastor delivering a sermon, there is a bounty of public-speaking for us to observe.

Each of these presentations offers a learning opportunity for us to refresh and polish our own speaking …

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Wise, Witty Ways to Begin Your Presentations Well

By Claudia Brogan

Rather than “limp” in to your next presentation, pay attention to boldly choose a good Attention-Getting introduction. Grab the audience by the lapels so to speak, make them say a quiet thoughtful “ahh,’ or tickle their funny bone. The next time you have the opportunity to deliver a speech, training session or presentation, give special thought to how you can start off vividly.

These specific methods may help you get unstuck, or may spark a new idea for creating your next good speech-beginning.

Deftly use humor or an opening quote.

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The Importance of Rehearsal

By Kelly Vandever
Toastmasters Speech Contests
I was once obsessed with Toastmasters speech contests. I have the picture to prove it!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Toastmasters, it’s a non-profit organization formed at the local level into clubs, and people have the opportunity to grow their public speaking skills.

Twice a year, there are speech contests which start at the club level, followed by additional levels. Those who win at the club go on to compete against winners from other clubs in their area. Then the winners in an area …

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Don’t Let Your Slides Tie You Down

by Tom Nixon
Long ago I would start my PowerPoint presentations standing next to the screen so that the audience could see both my slides and me.
A trusted coach suggested that was the weakest spot I could stand in – in the shadows, back and to the side, away from my audience. This is where I would begin my presentations! Not good.
Presenters often have great difficulty avoiding the beam of light from their projectors. The projection device is often on a table or hanging from a low ceiling in a conference room or …

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